Unable to Lead, Unwilling to be Led: Contesting the Villainization of School Leadership Appointments in Cameroon

Kum, Henry Asei and Julius, Nyonsen Buh-Mbi (2020) Unable to Lead, Unwilling to be Led: Contesting the Villainization of School Leadership Appointments in Cameroon. Journal of Education and Social Policy, 7 (3). pp. 1-11. ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online)

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Abstract

Cameroon operates two subsystems of education which have emerged from French and British Colonial rule (Tchombe, 2014). However, the French educational concepts of management in the school system dominate school leadership in Cameroon. In its current form, school leaders in state institutions are appointed by the state and view themselves as administrators and representatives of the state. Their practices are regulated by a centralized state control which allows them to be responsible for the implementation of national legislation and the ministry’s directives. School leaders, therefore, function as pedagogical and educative pilots of schools in a top-down approach (Ambassa et al. 2011). One of the challenges of this leadership approach is in the appointment of school leaders in various public schools. This paper uses an interdisciplinary approach to critique and contest the appointment of school leaders of state schools in an autocratic and centralized management structure. The study interrogates practices, policies, and outcomes of leadership appointments in a centralized state management structure. It posits competing tensions in the context of equality and equal opportunities for various educational actors in the school system. The study concludes that an unfair state policy of appointment of school leadership negatively impacts on meritocracy and elaborately builds a superclass of privileged education professionals whose focus is the advancement of allegiance and pacification of the political elite that appointed them. Key words: schools, leadership, meritocracy, centralised, particularism, universalism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: The full text of this article published in Journal of Education and Social Policy in September 2020 can be found online at http://jespnet.com/journals/Vol_7_No_3_September_2020/1.pdf
Keywords: schools, leadership, meritocracy, centralised, particularism, universalism
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Henry Kum
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2020 09:24
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2020 09:24
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3201

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